I remember a life drawing class in which we would all have to hang our assignment for each week on the classroom wall. Then we would all noisily sit around and wait for our colourful instructor, Mario, to make his grand entry. Mario was a tall, dark, flamboyant Italian that always talked loudly while waving his hands around in the air for effect.
As we held our breath he would slowly walk along the exhibition of our talent and skill. Then he would suddenly stop and with a wide sweep of his arm gesture to someone’s drawing and in his thickest accent declare, “This, this, this, belongs on a Los Vegas Hotel room wall!” I remember more than once watching a fragile classmate moved to despair or with a bowed head rush from the room in disgrace. As cold hearted as that life drawing coach was I did get his point regarding art.
We rarely look at the artwork that is always hanging in the hotel room. It is just there to fill space on the otherwise blank wall, and if we did notice, that framed art was quickly forgotten when we left. I can honestly say that although my friends or family might have remarked at the cleanliness of a room, it’s location or the softness of the bed. I can’t remember anyone ever saying, “Gosh, the artwork in our room was marvellous.”
Good art is enduring. We live with it, cherish it, and the longer we do the more we take pleasure in it.
Now comes my delight with calendars. It is not that I need to know what day it is; that is a utilitarian benefit. I like those with pictures.
Calendar pictures must immediately have an impact. A successful calendar picture grabs our attention and quickly tells a simple story. However, unlike the art my instructor was demanding, calendars only have to endure for about thirty days at the most. Each picture only has to artfully work to capture our attention and give us the proper date for one month. Then we get to start all over, and we get to enjoy a different picture with more information on important dates for another month. Hmm…functional art, what could be better.
November is my month to start seeking calendars. I hate searching for calendars in January. There is something wrong in hanging a calendar mid-month. My wife and I have the perfect approach for photographers. We each choose from the photos we have taken during the month and I print a new calendar each month. No rules, no themes. We select a picture we each like and I make an 11×14 print that is half picture and half calendar – side by side, or up and down.
That’s not to say that I don’t get other calendars. If one grabs our fancy while shopping we’ll get that also. Then there are those we receive as gifts. I can’t have too many calendars. Getting to view lots of new pictures each month, it doesn’t get much better than that. We also choose images and have calendars made for us that we give away at Christmas.
My advice to readers like me, that enjoy having their pictures hanging on their walls, is to start putting your own calendar for 2016 together now. Stop by the local business supply store or look online. And remember calendars make great Christmas gifts.